There's nothing worse than spending your hard-earned money on clothes only to find that they didn't last nearly as long as you thought or to watch your favorite article of clothing deteriorate before your eyes. Luckily, there are plenty of home remedies out there to help keep your clothes in the best condition possible so they can stay in your wardrobe for years to come! So try some of these out to save money and look your best!
Dry Cleaning Should Be Reserved For Special Occasions
Dry cleaning is a good way to make sure that your clothes, especially your fancy ones, don't look like they just came out of the closet after collecting dust for months. Still, it's important not to take your items to the dry cleaners all that often.
On top of hurting your wallet, dry cleaning also involves harsh chemicals that can be damaging to the material as well as the environment. Your best bet is to steam them by hanging them up in the bathroom as you shower.
With the convenience of washing machines and dryers, it's easy for us to wear an article of clothing once, and then throw it in the wash because we assume that it is dirty.
However, the more you wash and dry clothes, the more likely they are to lose their color, elasticity, and even fall apart! Unless something is visibly dirty or smells bad, a rule of thumb is to try and wear something three times before washing it again!
Be Patient When Drying
Although dryers can be great to use in a pinch, it's not the best idea to use them on your clothes every time that they are washed. Using something like a clothesline or a drying rack not only can prevent overheating and shrinkage of your clothes, but can cut down your electricity bill!
Some clothes that you should particularly avoid putting in the dryer include active-wear with a lot of elastic or clothing with very minimal material.
Don't Hang Your Sweaters
Trust us, you're not the only person that would rather hang their clothes than fold them, considering how much of a pain folding can be. While that's all well and good, it is important to fold your heavier clothes like sweaters.
If you put a sweater on a hangar, the weight of the material will cause the fabric to stretch, which will make it look funky when you put it on. Nevertheless, if you fold them, you're much less likely to have this problem.
Throw Those Jeans In The Freezer!
Washing your clothes too much is damaging all around, however, jeans are something you definitely don't need to wash as often as you think. Yet, if you feel like your jeans could use a freshen-up, there's an odd tip that surprisingly works!
Putting them in the freezer eliminates any bacteria and odors that the washing machine might, which saves both time and energy. Just shake off any debris, spot-clean if needed, fold and place them in a plastic bag and leave them overnight.
Don't Forget That Irons Have Temperature Settings
For those that use an iron on a regular basis, using one might look like just turning it on and trying your best. Unfortunately, what a lot of people don't know is that many irons today have temperature settings that should be adjusted depending on the type of clothing that you are ironing.
Using an iron that's too hot can end up burning your clothes or causing shrinkage. It's better to be safe rather than sorry and always use your iron at a lower temperature than you think.
Dye Baths Are Your Friend
Regardless of whether you avoid the washer and dryer and take care of your clothes, over time, most clothing articles will begin to lose their color. Luckily, when you begin to notice fading, that doesn't mean they have to go in the back of your closet or be donated.
Instead, you can use a dye bath to return the colors to them by adding colored dye into a bucket with the suggested amount of water. This process works best with block colors, and be sure to wash them separately a few times so the dye doesn't seep into other clothes.
Don't Try To Save Money On Hangars
While the last thing most people want to spend their money on is hangars for their clothes, investing in quality ones may be worth your while. This is because more cheap plastic and wire hangars stretch out the shoulders of your clothes that can make them unappealing to wear.
Slightly more expensive hangars are designed to not do this to your clothing, and ones that are wooden or made out of other strong material will last much longer.
Be Mindful of Where You Store Your Clothes
There's a reason that people have closets and specific areas to put their clothes, which is because clothes can't just be stored anywhere if you expect them to last.
The worst places you could put clothes is somewhere that's dark, like a basement or a bathroom where they can get damp and moldy. They need to be stored somewhere that's cool and dry with some breathing space to ensure that they remain looking like the day you bought them.
Easy On The Detergent
When you do get around to washing your clothes, be cognizant about how much detergent you are using when putting in a load. While detergent is good to use, if you put too much in, you run the risk of actually making your clothes less bright and stiffer.
Plus, detergent isn't good for the environment. Instead, use half of the recommended amount on the container and add half a cup of baking soda which acts as a detergent booster.
Find That Sweet Spot With Your Washer
When you are using your washing machine, it's important not to use it for only a few clothing articles because it wastes water. You also don't want to cram as much as you can into it.
Not only can you damage the appliance, but it can also lead to your clothes not washing properly and rubbing together, leading to deterioration and fading. To also prevent fading, try washing your clothes using cold water.
Keep A Stain Remover Pen Handy
The interesting thing about stains is that many of them can come out if you get to them quickly enough. The issue usually is, however, that stains can happen in places where you can't immediately use a stain remover - or in some cases water - to try and blot it out.
That's why it's a good idea to always have a stain remover pen somewhere nearby. They're small, effective, and can help save your favorite clothes from pesky stains when you're out and about.
Take The Time To Learn How To Mend
Unfortunately, for many people, getting a small tear or hole in one of their shirts or pants usually means that the article of clothing has seen its last days, at least in public.
While a lot of people don't want to wear something that looks "ruined" or spend the time or money to go and get something mended, there's an easy fix to many of these problems. Taking the time to learn how to mend a hole, sew back on a button, or other quick fixes can be extremely beneficial.
Wash Darker Clothes Inside Out
Whether you're putting your dirty clothes in the hamper or the washing machine, take the extra minute to make sure that all of your darks are turned inside out or other clothes with logos or designs.
Doing this helps to prevent them from fading by protecting the outer part from rubbing against other clothes. This is also useful for t-shirts with pictures or designs on them which helps to stop the print from cracking or being rubbed off entirely.
Invest in Some Bags For Your Delicates
Although you could just wash your delicate clothes like anything else in the washing machine, they won't be long for this world. If you want to make these usually more expensive articles of clothing to last, it might be in your interest to buy some delicates bags.
These are bags designed for your more delicate pieces of clothing that you place together in the bag before washing. This helps to stop from them being shredded in the washer and dryer.
Use Products On Your Shoes
Today, there are countless products being manufactured solely geared towards preserving your shoes. Although it may not work for all kinds of shoes, ones that are leather or go through a lot of wear and tear can be benefited.
A lot of these products help to keep out moisture, prevent scuffs, or just give your shoes a good old-fashioned cleaning. Shoes are by no means cheap, so keep them up to snuff the best you can!
Pants Don't Need To Be Washed That Often
Unless you choose to never wear underwear, which we hope isn't the case, it's unlikely that you'll need to wash your pants along with every load of laundry that you do.
For the most part, pants stay relatively clean unless you manage to get them really dirty. If there are some smudges or small dirt marks just spot clean them and then leave them out on a clothesline to dry, which will also help to freshen them up!
Wear The Appropriate Clothes For What You Are Doing
There's a reason that your mom always had you change into "play clothes" when you got home from school before you went outside, which was to protect your nice clothes! Well, the same rule should still apply when you're an adult.
If you're planning on going on a hike, doing yard work, or something else active, it might not be the best idea to wear your favorite pair of khakis or other nice clothes. Wear the appropriate clothes for the appropriate situation to avoid accidents.
Aprons Were Invented For A Reason
By far, one of the easiest places to ruin an article of clothing is in the kitchen. Whether it's grease, cooking oil, or juices, there are countless dangers that can destroy any article of clothing.
So, even if you think it looks dorky, do yourself a favor and wear an apron when preparing a meal. Not only can it help to prevent a disaster, but it makes it look like you actually know what you're doing.
Cheap Clothes Isn't Always A Deal
While not everyone can afford to spend all of their money on expensive clothes, the truth is, you usually get your money's worth when it comes to clothing. While this doesn't mean that every article you buy has to be worth hundreds of dollars, you're better off buying more in the middle-of-the-road price range.
Most pricier clothing has a higher price tag because it's made with better quality material, and therefore, will last longer. So, if you're buying a jacket that you plan on having for a long time, maybe go for one that's higher quality.
Don't Overwear Your Favorite Outfits
We know that it's hard, but in order to save your favorite clothes from being ruined, it's best not to wear them all of the time. If you're planning on staying inside all day, maybe opt out of wearing your favorite t-shirt and save it for a more appropriate time.
Wearing the same clothes all of the time is a surefire way to make sure that they look like you wear them constantly and will lead to their ultimate demise.
Dry Halfway To Avoid Wrinkles
There are few things more frustrating than opening up your dryer to learn that all of your clothes are wrinkled! Well, there's a simple solution to this, although it takes a little more time.
Instead of letting your clothes go through a full dry-cycle, take them out halfway and let them air dry. This will save you money on your electricity bill, speed up the air-drying process, and ensure that your clothes are all wrinkle-free!
Sort Your Laundry!
While many people have heard this at least once, there are still plenty of people out there that wash everything at once just to save time. While this might work in your favor a few times, it's detrimental overall.
On top of quickly deteriorating your clothes, if you're unlucky to wash something like a pair of red pants with your favorite white shirt, you might end up learning this lesson the hard way. Sort your laundry into lights, darks, and delicates to keep everything running smoothly.
Labels Are There For A Reason
Just about every article of clothing that you buy at the store comes with a tag/label that gives you the correct instructions on how to care for the item, particularly when it comes to washing.
It would behoove you to follow these instructions because they are there for a reason. This is especially important for delicate articles that specifically say dry clean only. If you disregard this, you'll see why it says so when it comes out of the wash.
The Dryer Can Benefit Some Clothes
While it's ill-advised to dry all of your clothing relentlessly, some articles can actually benefit from a good hot dry now and then. Clothes that can use this include underwear because the heat can help kill bacteria and clothes that have stretchy material in them. But hold off on your expensive workout clothes!
Some clothing articles with this material can become loose and baggy after wearing, and the dryer can help shrink them back to their original form.
Stay On Top Of Your Personal Hygiene
We hope that you're already doing this, but having good hygiene is not only socially acceptable, but it can also be beneficial to your clothing's lifespan. If you are showering often, wearing deodorant and undergarments, your clothes will last much longer than they would otherwise.
Not only does sweat cause stains, but it makes your clothes smelly, leading them to need to be washed more, and we all know what frequently washing your clothes does.
Button Before Washing
Just like taking a moment to turn your darks inside out, it's also important to make sure that you button up any clothing with buttons and zip up and with any zippers. Doing this will help prevent them from snagging onto other fabrics.
If this happens, they can put holes in or tear your other clothing and cause them to pile up, resulting in an insufficient wash and increasing the probability of them wrinkling.
Don't Underestimate The Power Of Bleach
Although sometimes bleach can be a solution to a problem, chlorine bleach can be extremely damaging to any fabric, even white cotton, if used in an unnecessary amount. One way to save yourself from trouble is to dilute whatever amount of bleach you are using with water.
Bleach stains are almost impossible to get out and can occur from various situations, including accidentally splashing it, washing clothes with others that have been in contact with bleach, and more.
Get Your Clothes Out Of Dry Cleaning Bags Immediately
When you pick up your clothes from the dry cleaners, they will most likely be returned to you in plastic bags. While you may think it's safest to keep them in these bags to protect them, you want to do the opposite.
Take your clothes out of the bags as soon as you get home because if you leave them in, the bags ends up trapping perchloroethylene, a chemical used in dry cleaning that can deteriorate your clothes.
Don't Store Your Clothes In A Well-Lit Place
If you hang your clothes in the closet, make sure that you turn off the light before closing the door. Furthermore, make sure that the door is always closed so that your clothing isn't exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time.
Much like drapes, sunlight can fade your clothing, especially those made with dye; even just having a light on the closet more than necessary can lead to fading. Try to keep your clothes in the dark as much as possible when not being worn.